It is the southernmost locality in the Republic of Moldova bordering with the Dniester river and being located at the river’s estuary, where it flows into the Black Sea. The village has been known since 1410, the times of Alexander the Good, and between 1443-1447, Iurghici, the burgrave of Cetatea Alba, raised a fortress surrounded by a fence of impregnable beams here. An old description of the fortress depicts it as being rectangular, with three bastions and a tower for storing gunpowder. The fortress was located on the highest hill in the region, not far from the Dniester River, while the old Moldavian Road was laying nearby. During the Turkish rule, a mosque was erected inside the fortress. Around 1577 the Turks would call it Janyk Hisar (burnt fortress, or auxiliary stone fortress, perhaps, in comparison to the fortress considered the main one – Akerman), while in 1658 it was known as the “Palanca fair” (In Slavic, Palanca means “wooden fortification”). Today, this place is called “At the fortress”, which according to the legend protected the Dniester ford (the Turkish ford, the Tatar ford, marking the point where the Crimean Tatars would often attack) and the Ford Road. The Lower Ford at the Dniester’s estuary, where the river flows into the Black Sea, used to serve as Cetatea Alba’s defense system.
Zamfir Arbore, in the Geographic Dictionary of Bessarabia (1904), wrote about Palanca: “It was founded around 1808, on the site of the old Tatar Fair. Around 1806, there was a small castle built on the road stretching from Maiaki to Akerman. The castle had four towers, and was 70 “stanjeni” (old unit of measurement equal to about 1.83m) in length, and 30 “stanjeni” in width. It is also known that in 1821, the Russian poet A. Pushkin visited the existing ruins of the old fortress of Palanca. A local legend says that the Roman poet Ovid has also, at some point, been to these places, being exiled to Tomis, and that he would have stopped on the shore of a picturesque lake, which today bears the name “Davidu”. Around 1827, the “Nasterea Maicii Domnului” church was built in the village, which then, in 1880 was reconstructed out of stone.”
EXCURSIONS, VISITS AND LOCAL RECREATION PLACES
■ at the “Iurghici Fortress” (the site of the former medieval fortress from 1447), where the old slums are being inhabited by Moldovans, Russians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians;
■ the lake of the Roman poet Ovid
The Dniester riverbank, riverside lakes (Balcacia, Chioru, Cruhlea, Davidu), Cobanu forest, on the fortress, etc.
The local museum inside the school,